Season 1 of Love ended with Mickey Dobbs (Gillian Jacobs) coming clean to Gus Cruikshank (Paul Rust) about her alcohol and drug abuse, and sex and love addiction. They agree to take a break from their burgeoning relationship, and then promptly kiss in front of the mini-mart where they first met.
Season 2 picks up in that very same gas station parking lot. But this time, rather than a repeat of the Magic Castle date fiasco (literally so cringe-worthy that I crumpled up on horror and am still working out the neck kinks), we're treated to Gus and Mickey giving this relationship a real shot. Just what that means, I'll leave for you to find out.
On a very snowy day in January — about as far as one can get from the show's setting — I sat down with Gillian Jacobs, Paul Rust, and executive producer Judd Apatow to talk about the show's evolution, and trade dating horror stories. (Gillian Jacobs, we've all been there.)
I’m going to start this interview completely backwards because I saw episode twelve last night and I need to talk about it.
Judd Apatow: “How are you feeling?”
Should I let myself believe that this relationship is gonna work out?
PR: “I think so.”
JA: “Well, we thought, there’s always a moment before you lock in where you have a couple of things going, so there’s like one phase that’s meeting each other, then there’s another phase where you date but maybe there’s other things going on, and then there’s a moment where you go ‘I guess I gotta shut it all down.’ That was like the last.”
Gillian Jacobs: “You always have more options going than me, this is the one game in town."
That’s what I really like about the show — it feels so real, like actually dating.
JA: “Yeah, I think that’s the main thing we’re trying to do is to be as accurate as we can be, but did you like this season?”
I did really like this season!
JA: “You’re the only one that’s seen the whole season.”
Oh really, I’m the nerd.
PR: “Outside the show.”
I really liked it!
JA: “Was it funny, was it a dramatic season, what was it?”
I thought it was really funny, I actually liked it better than the first season.
GJ: “Ooooh! Is that your headline? Season two, better than season one.”
JA: “The seasons better get stronger.”
Do you guys use real dating stories?
PR: “Yeah, we do. What’s fun about the show is you know everybody, actors and writers and anybody who’s got a good story. Then you can clock it where you’re like, ‘Oh, what are your two months in stories, what are your four months in stories,’ and they’re always different.”
What’s the worst dating story that you’ve heard of or experienced?
JA: “Gillian has some good ones.”
GJ: “I’ve had some good bad dates. Oh, I’ve got another one you haven’t heard today, my dad set me up with this guy who was a family friend.”
JA: “Good idea.”
GJ: “And I don’t drink but he and his friends really wanted to get into this cool bar in L.A. and I knew one of the owners, so I got them in because it was like a bar with a doorman. They proceeded to get really drunk, and then the guy was mad that I was looking at my phone and he took it and chucked it across the bar and then I, for whatever reason I felt like I had to drive them home. I should have just made them get a cab. So I’m driving them home, and they’re so drunk they can’t even tell me where they live, and I’m like, ‘Then fine, get out, just get out on the side of the road.’ Finally they’re like ‘He lives down there,’ and then we get to his apartment and he’s like ‘Do you want to go to San Diego with me in three hours?’ No! And then I’m just sitting there and he’s sitting in the passenger seat and he just reaches across and like gives me a sideways hug and didn’t say anything.”
GJ: “I was just like, ‘Get out,’ and he got out and then was like convinced we were going to date, and texted me a lot for the next couple of weeks.”
PR: “I was hoping he was one of the Padres when you said San Diego.”
GJ: “The Padres! I’ve never dated a Padre.”
PR: “Your padre set you up with a Padre.”
Is there anything that was so bad that you couldn’t put it in the show?
JA: “Yes, oh my god. Everyday Paul tells us a story, it’s funny because when we did Freaks and Geeks, [Paul] Feig had so many stories of humiliation in childhood, and all of his stories would end with us saying, ‘And how old were you when that happened?’ And a lot of them he was like, ‘Nineteen.’ Paul’s stories of humiliation are so heinous, you can’t even tell anyone outside the room. There’s a lot of don’t talk about this outside the room.”
PR: “Yeah, there’s a strict code. We share stories that are... they’d be tough to pull off sometimes, even in Netflix land.”
Is there a reason you called it Love?
PR: “That title was from my wife who co-created the show with me and Jenn. She came up with the title and it’s funny because I think a lot of people think it’s like cool and ironic, like we’re calling it Love but it’s really not, but I actually think it’s a very sincere title.”
JA: “You can project anything you want on that title.”
PR: “That’s right.”
JA: “You could be like, ‘Yeah, damn you love,’ or, ‘Yay, love.’”
GJ: “It’s the Chauncey Gardiner of titles.”
What I really love is that both of your characters really subvert stereotypes. Like you’re the nice guy that’s kind of not that nice, and you’re a manic pixie dream girl who’s not that. But especially for you I feel like I never see female characters on TV that are as like beautifully flawed — what’s that like to play?
GJ: “It’s really great. I feel so lucky to get to play Mickey because you’re right, there aren’t that many parts for women like this and so it’s wonderful to be as flawed as a lot of the male antiheroes that you see on TV that are so beloved and accepted.
Right, like she’s no Tony Soprano but —
GJ: “Give her some time.”
PR: “I never understood that though when people called them antiheroes because I think they’re kind of doing what most dads want to do.”
GJ: “Run the mob?
Are you ever surprised by what kind of people watch the show?
PR: "It's interesting, because I know a lot of like older parents who watch it ,and I think that it’s partly a wanting to know what the kids are up to sort of thing, but then also people our age and people younger. We were shooting one day on the street and this 12-year-old boy came up to us and he was like, ‘I love the show.’ You shouldn’t be watching that.”
GJ: “I just did a movie with all of these children at Disney, like PG children’s film, and I was like please just promise me you won’t watch Love."
How would you sum up how this season differs from Season 1?
JA: “I feel like in short our season doesn’t sound interesting, but season two they’re really getting into their relationship.”
PR: “I think there’s probably more moments of the two of us vibing on each other and liking each other.”
JA: “The salad days.”
PR: “Yes, exactly.”
JA: “But you know what happens when you leave the salad out too long.”
PR: “It wilts and turns brown. What’s fun about [the show] is trying to make it as low concept as possible. There’s no like genies and stuff.”
Are you going to write an end credits song for Love?
PR: “That’d be good. ”
GJ: “Oh that’s good, I like that.”
JA: “Maybe the last episode.”
PR: “That’s right yeah. I think, it’d be the first song ever written about love. Oh wait no, every song is about love.”